Friday, October 5, 2012

SAR #12278

Economists, too, should first do no harm.

Revelations: When are folks going to realize that Obama isn't who they think he is?

Until Morale Improves: The EU/IMF/ECB troika is demanding that Greece cut spending another 1 billion euros, and soon, for they see Greek GDP sinking 5% next year and say that deeper cuts are needed – for example, ending civil servants' Christmas, Easter and summer 'bonuses' (which are a negotiated part of civil service salaries). Apparently the tax surcharge on smiling is not bringing in as much as expected.

Don't Let The Door Hit You: President Hamid Karzai says that the US war in Afghanistan will “not be successful.” Does this mean that Karzai and his friends have squirreled away enough US funds?

Numb 'ers: Initial unemployment claims, at 367,000, were up 8,000 from last weeks report. US factory orders fell 5.2% in August and the July number was revised down to a slim 2.6% gain. A total of 10.9% of US houses with a mortgage were delinquent or in foreclosure in August, better than last year by 600,000 houses. Nationwide there were 1% fewer births in 2011 than in 2010. Recession, y'know.

Where's Gatsby: "It will surely take at least a decade... for the world economy to get back to decent shape" according to the IMF's Oliver Blanchard. He's an optimist, he thinks the unavoidable deleveraging can be done while the world's credit-based economies expand.

True or False: While it is marginally possible that Spain will be cowed into accepting severe austerity conditions in return for a bailout, it seems most unlikely that the Italians would accept becoming serfs.

Revised: In Texas you can't see the forest for the trees, dead trees - 300 million of them, as a result of the 2011 drought.

Echo: Once more, for those who haven't been paying attention: The rich 1% get richer by grabbing 93% of the nation's income growth – the largest margin in over 40 years.

The Big Bucks: The concept of transferable executive skills is the most common justification for outrageous CEO compensation packages. It is a myth: empirical studies find no relationship between a CEO’s performance at one company and his performance at the next company – regardless of how massively overpaid he (or she) is. Just the reverse seems to be true, the expected benefits from the hired-in CEO seldom appear.

Suppressing Vote Suppression: Nationwide, nearly all of the Republican voter-suppression laws that have faced a court challenge have lost.

Put A Fork In It: Back at the end of 2010, Congress passed the payroll tax cut as a way of getting a little more money into the hands of the consumer. It was a quiet stimulus measure, spurred on by a 9.4% unemployment rate. By February this year the unemployment rate was down to 8.3%, encouraging but far from ideal, so the tax cut was extended. Now unemployment stands at 8.1%, victory has been declared (or defeat, whichever) and the tax cuts will end. Is this a preview of January's financial cliff compromises, when the Republicans con the Democrats into abandoning the working folks?

Just-So Story: According to the World Bank, the world's economies must generate 600 million jobs by 2000, or face further social unrest - aka riots, violence and the change of government.

High Noon: The Pentagon tells you to be on the lookout for people who have recently changed their choices in entertainment, have peculiar discussions, complain about bias, use Facebook and/or are young. These signs point to possible terrorists. Or teenagers, which is much the same thing.

The Parting Shot:


So it begins.

1 comment:

kwark said...

Re "High Noon" Hmm. . . my neighbor recently quit bowling. He's an avid gardener - to the point of obsession, hates his ex, and will froth at the mouth about the fact that LA doesn't have a pro football team. . . I'd better keep an eye on him.